DECEMBER 15, 2012


Although I had anticipated the request for the discussion of the Mayor’s request for Jose Quinon to be appointed his lawyer would be heard at the end of the Commission meeting, the Commission moved it up to the morning session.

Consequently, I suspect that a lot of folks might have missed it, so I have posted the entire discussion at the bottom of this story, and I am using a small portion as part of this story.

And now, without further ado, here is my next chapter in the saga of Spence-Jones, versus Katherine Fernandez-Rundle and Tomas Regalado, et al.


No matter where you turn, the single most amazing thing, other than the allegations in Spence-Jones’ lawsuit, are all of the conflicts of interest either visible, or lurking just under the surface that exist among the members of the Miami City Commission.

It should come as no surprise that the person with the most obvious conflicts is our pal, Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff.

In writing about all of this, folks need to remember that one of the most important things that was going on in 2009 was that Sarnoff and Regalado were in the “two peas in a pod,” period of their relationship.

Given their closeness then, and the fact that there never seems to have been any love lost between Sarnoff and Spence-Jones’ -evidenced in part by Sarnoff’s memo regarding his accusations that Spence-Jones had “bartered her vote,” in the Mercy Hospital condo project - the possibility exists that as discovery goes forward in this case it could turn out that Sarnoff, as Regalado’s fellow “pea in a pod,” might have played a larger behind the scene role in the efforts to get rid of Spence-Jones than has so far been revealed, and he could conceivably wind up as a new Co-Defendant in an amended lawsuit.

You have to expect that Spence-Jones’ lawyers already know who the unnamed Commissioner in the lawsuit was who met with the Mayor and City Attorney Julie Bru on the weekend of November 14-15, 2009, and If it was Sarnoff - and it’s almost impossible to think it was Carollo - then that is a material piece of information that he had an obligation to reveal at Thursday’s meeting because it colors his actions in participating in the selection of an attorney to represent the City Commission and on who gets attorneys, if anyone, appointed to represent them going forward.

He didn’t. 

In fact, at the Commission meeting on Thursday, Sarnoff not only failed to reveal any involvement he might have in this case, but more importantly left no doubt that he’s still on Regalado’s side when it comes to Spence-Jones.  His actions in putting himself forward to be a one man selection committee to seek out an attorney to represent the Commission AND discuss attorney fees with Jose Quinon, makes that very, very clear.

I urge you to take the time to view the complete video I’ve posted at the bottom to get a better appreciation of all that took place, so you can see how this all looks suspiciously orchestrated, but here now is the portion of the meeting where Suarez recognizes Sarnoff, and Sarnoff immediately nominates himself to take over the responsibility of finding both finding a lawyer for the Commission, but also to negotiate rates with Jose Quinon.

Why do I contend this is such a conflict of interest for Sarnoff?

At 19:18 in the video at the bottom of the page, Sarnoff in describing some of the reasons that the Commission needs a lawyer references, “unified interest.”

There can be no “unified interest” between all the members of the Commission, because Sarnoff’s interests, even at this point, are clearly not necessarily those of the other members of the Commission. 

Sarnoff’s interests are colored by the fact that of all the Commissioners, he is at this point the only Commissioner with a possible legal liability.

First, because he is the only Commissioner who was a Commissioner during the period of time that the majority of the allegations made in Spence-Jones’ lawsuit took place, and therefore the only Commissioner who, because of his relationships with both Spence-Jones and Regalado could become a Defendant in this case.

At the very least, if he was the unnamed Commissioner at the November 14-15th meeting - and I contend that he HAS to have been that Commissioner -  then he’s a material witness to a act of the alleged RICO conspiracy.  As such, he could ask for the City to provide him  an attorney.

Far more importantly, and far more alarming, the video also reveals Sarnoff’s attempt to commit the Commission to accepting, without discussion, Jose Quinon as Regalado’s attorney.

This is really an egregious bit of stagecraft on Sarnoff’s part, and underscores that while he might be playing patty cake with Francis Suarez, he’s definitely still in the Regalado camp when it comes to doing whatever he can to help Regalado against Spence-Jones.

Neither the Commission nor Sarnoff HAD ANY AUTHORITY at Thursday’s meeting to accept or approve Jose Quinon as Regalado’s attorney, and in fact, Regalado had no right to unilaterally make a request that Jose Quinon be his attorney.

To understand and appreciate why this is critically important,  here is just a small - but very important part of the discussion that was held by the City Commission on June 9, 2011, when the Commission was asked to provide attorneys for Chief Exposito and Major Alvarez, over the comments made on a TV show about the criminal background of a maqunita owner.  (June 9, 2011, Commission Minutes, Page 138)

The notion that Sarnoff, even before the City Commission agreed to hire an outside attorney and have THAT attorney issue an opinion on the process of whether the Mayor should be provided an attorney at taxpayer expense, much less how the process would be conducted in the selection of that attorney, would on his own publicly identify Jose Quinon as Regalado’s attorney and state that he wanted to talk with him about his rate I believe underscores just how rigged the process already appears to be.

You got to believe that Sarnoff not only did this to benefit Regalado, but to establish a precedent so that he could waltz in and get the Commission at some point down the line to allow him to hire his bosom pal Jay Solowsky to represent him.

While I have called City Attorney Julie Bru a moron and worse on occasion, in this instance she was absolutely right to raise a concern in the above portion of the June 2011 Commission meeting about the bad precedent that would be established if city employees and elected officials could waltz in and demand that they be allowed to choose whoever they want as an attorney.

The City Attorney has an established process for how attorneys are selected to represent city employees, and not the least of the criteria involved has to do with how much they can charge the City.

That process would have to be reviewed and analyzed by whoever the Commission decided to hire to represent them, and it would be the responsibility of THAT attorney to offer an opinion before the City Commission could determine whether Regalado was entitled to an attorney at taxpayers expense, and more importantly WHO that attorney would be, and how much he/she would be paid.

I cannot believe that at least a couple of the Commissioners - most especially Commission Chairman Francis Suarez, who himself is a lawyer - did not understand the full implications of what Sarnoff was trying to pull off by this stunt, and that he was allowed to do this unchallenged, reveals the caldron of double-dealing, back-stabbing collusion going on just below the surface.

Spence-Jones seems to have aligned herself with Francis Suarez in an effort to unseat Regalado, but sometimes the old adage of my enemy’s enemy is my friend is just bullshit. 

While the rest of the Commissioners might not be happy with Regalado, if there was a secret vote tomorrow on whether Regalado or Spence-Jones should be voted off the island, I am convinced that Spence-Jones would be voted off by ALL of her fellow Commissioners.

And that’s the not-so-secret reason why Sarnoff feels he can just do whatever he wants when it comes to pulling off a stunt like he did on Thursday, because he knows that none of his fellow Commissioners will call him on it.

That is worse than a conflict of interest.  It’s a conspiracy!


My revelations on Friday that Commissioner Willie Gort is under a criminal investigation for accepting tens of thousand of dollars in unreported campaign contributions from the Fuel billboard company for free campaign advertising signs, is but the latest example of just how openly corrupt some of the people on the City Commission have - and continue - to be.

Gort should have recused himself at the beginning of the discussion, and his failure to do so just points to more double-dealing, backstab scheming on his part.

The big question going forward is whether or not State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle will be brazen enough between now and the January Commission meeting to close out the investigation without indicting him.

The strength of the case against Gort is supposedly very strong, but Fernandez-Rundle had demonstrated that when it comes to protecting folks on the Family and Friends Plan, Willie could be caught in bed with a young boy, a billy goat AND a dead body, and she’d still have her do-boy Jose Arroyo refuse to prosecute.

But for now, any further involvement in this case by Willie Gort is definitely a conflict of interest.


You’ll have a hard time tracking it down, but Carollo is an accountant with Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC (MBAF).  He’s not listed on the company’s website, and trying to do a Google search doesn’t provide much help.  I finally managed to confirm that he works for this company by calling them up, and then using their employee tracking system to get his voice mail, confirming that he was with this firm.

Why is this important?  The Chairman and CEO of MBAF is Tony Argiz. Argiz has a long and distinguished list of civic accomplishments.  One of those accomplishments is that he was the Campaign Treasurer for none other than Katherine Fernandez-Rundle.

Yep, Frank’s boss kept The Queen Of Swags’s campaign books.  How’s that for two degrees of separation?

So, Frank Carollo’s boss was Katherine Fernandez-Rundle’s campaign treasurer.

Willie Gort is under criminal investigation by Katherine Fernandez-Rundle. 

Commissioner “Ethics” Sarnoff is at best a witness, and at worst a possible future Co-Defendant, and for those with short attention spans, Fernandez-Rundle’s office refused to prosecute him in an assault case against Reid Welch earlier this year, even though there were eye witnesses who stated under oath that it was Sarnoff who had run across the street and jumped on Welch.

City Attorney Julie Bru and at least one, if not more Assistant City Attorneys have real problems because of their involvement in the various discussions and schemes discussed to get Spence-Jones off of the Commission ASAP after she was arrested.

In fact, in addition to Regalado and Sarnoff, Julie Bru and all of the Assistant City Attorney’s involved are in desperate need of lawyers, because some of these folks might be in line for serious Florida Bar action for their involvement in this case.

The only person at this point who doesn’t seem to have a conflicted relationship with Fernandez-Rundle is Commission Chairman Francis Suarez, and the jury’s still out on what might surface in the future.

But even without that kind of problem, Suarez is the most conflicted of them all. He’s running for Mayor against His Ignorance, Tomas Regalado, and therefore anything that any of these other people do either for or against Regalado, impacts on his chances to win the election.

A Snake Pit doesn’t begin to adequately describe what the City of Miami Commission has become under this collection of scheming, corrupt assholes.

In almost any other American city, Sarnoff, Gort, Carollo, Suarez and Spence-Jones would be forced to recuse themselves from taking part in any decision in this case.  Several of these people have personal agendas that go well beyond the normal definitions of what constitutes a conflict of interest, STARTING WITH SPENCE-JONES AND SARNOFF.

No one can expect, or believe that whoever the lawyer is that Sarnoff waltzes in with and recommends to his fellow Commissioners has not been chosen because of their prior agreement to do what Sarnoff wants them to do.

Sarnoff has a vested self-interest in making sure that whoever he recommends is going to do what he wants, including, but not limited to making sure that Sarnoff can get the lawyer of his choice to represent him.  That’s what a conflict of interest looks like.

Worse, there’s no one on the Commission with the legal smarts and the balls to step up and take Sarnoff on when he starts with his legalize bullshit.  Thursday’s meeting demonstrated that.

What happened Thursday is pretty much similar to what happened in September of 2011 when these same City Commissioners allowed the attorney for the maqunita owners to walk into City Hall and represent the City in the hearing to fire the Chief of Police.

That was a scandal, and so is what is happening now!

If ever there was a time for people in Miami who are politically connected and give a fuck about what’s happening to their City, this is the time.

The only solution that I can see is that these people, individually or collectively need to go to the Governor and the Attorney General of Florida and ask them to come in, sort all of this out, and do what is necessary to protect the interests of the people that really need to be protected: the taxpayers of Miami.

It’s either that, or Spence-Jones’ lawyers will need to go to court and try and get a judge to rule that Sarnoff and everyone else with a conflict  of interest can’t continue to take part in the process of selecting Regalado’s lawyer, or their own for that matter.

It really is Miami, Bitches!




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